The Lapchi Tiger Ikat Carpet

October 29, 2010

Lapchi's Tiger Ikat, From the Tribal Category, shown in Seaweed

“It is better to have lived one day as a Tiger, than live a thousand years as a sheep.” – Tibetan Proverb

ELLE DECOR - Site Spotlight October, 2010

Inspired by a rare late 19th century silk Ikat velvet from the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan, Lapchi’s Tiger Ikat, was designated for October’s “Site Spotlight” by the editors of ELLE DECOR.

The Uzbekistani areas of Bukhara and Samarkand were jewels on the famous “Silk Road”, a meandering trans-continental trade route connecting Asia with southern Europe. Tiger Ikat silk velvets may have traditionally originated in China or Russia before the style re-emerged in Bukhara. This distinctive tiger pelt velvet was a “Baghmal”.

Uzbek homes were decorated almost exclusively in textiles with comparatively little furniture. In Central Asia “cloth made the man” as luxury textiles were indicative of social status – the male ruling elite and rich merchant class often used Ikat textiles as gifts in negotiations. Carpets, walls, bolsters, pillows, throws, window and door openings were adorned with layers of patterned Ikat and embroidery. The Chapan, a highly decorative garment, was layered over tunics and trousers, often in sumptuous silk velvet Ikat patterns.

IKAT is a labor intensive multiple step process in which the warp (vertical) and weft threads (horizontal) are dyed and patterned before weaving. The warp threads are stretched over a wood frame and patterned by applying dye resistant layers of wrapped cotton, wax or rice paste to the threads. Layers of  “resist” are applied before each dye bath, protecting the emerging pattern from successive colors. Each time threads are bound and dyed they are replaced on the frame in the same order from left to right to check patterning. The finished threads are then transferred to a loom and woven. The Bukhara Ikat textiles are often “Warp Faced” – warp threads alone are patterned with color. Double Ikat is patterned on both the warp and weft.

Silk Chapan-Rau Collection-V&A Exhibit

Ikat Silk Velvet-Rau Collection-V&A Exhibit

In a technique similar to traditional Tibetan-Nepalese pile weaving, Ikat silk velvets employ a wire and knife cut to form pile height. Two sets of vertical warp threads are traditional. Layered on top of each other on the frame, the first warp layer is a backing and provides structure while the second warp layer is patterned. The patterned warp threads are intentionally longer in length for their height above the structured layer will become the pile.  To raise the pattern warps for pile cutting, a thin wire is inserted between two rows of horizontal width running weft threads during the weaving process.  Every few rows, another wire is inserted with the weft, the rows are battened down, and the raised weft thread loops are cut free from the wire beneath. The velvet pile is formed and a lush and elegant surface is created.

Lapchi’s Ikat designs embody a culture for whom vibrant colors, patterns and a developed textile culture was part of everyday existence.  As 2010 is the year of the Tiger, Lapchi’s Tiger Ikat carpet in particular, offers a timely walk on the wild side….

Ikat Check by Lapchi

Honeycomb by Lapchi

Rosemary – Simple and Elegant in Appearance

July 26, 2010

Continuing with our series in which we explore various applications of Lapchi carpets in today’s home furnishing environments, this month we turn our attention to Rosemary, a Transitional Botanical pattern.

The aromatic herb rosemary has been associated with the Greek Goddess Mnemosyne and through her, the human rituals of life, death, rebirth and memory. In the age before the written word, Mnemosyne’s gift to mankind was to name everything in the world, enabling collective reasoning, recognition of the past, the present, and the memory of all.

The Greek name Rosmarinus means “dew of the sea.” The Goddess Aphrodite, a personification of love, beauty, rapture and the mother of all living beings, rose from the sea adorned by a wreath of rosemary and myrtle. Because of this mythical association, rosemary was considered an aphrodisiac, traditionally worked into bridal wreaths, strewn about as a carpet for every nuptial pair, and planted by newly wed couples as a good omen. If you were tapped by a flowering rosemary sprig, true love would be yours.

In England, churches were adorned with rosemary in honor of the divine ability to protect and save one from evil. Rosemary sprigs were placed under pillows to prevent nightmares and hung in doorways and windows to safeguard homes. The narrative “Rose of Mary” tells of Mary being sheltered by a rosemary bush while escaping into Egypt.  Mary threw her cape over the white flowers of rosemary turning them blue – a color forever associated with Mary.

Like the plant is so gracefully represents, Lapchi’s Rosemary simple and elegant in appearance, is more than just a decorative surface, it is a part of a cultural heritage made visible.

Transitional Botanicals

A visual spark is created when objects and design influences from divergent places or historical influences are brought together.

The term “Transitional Design” can be applied to individual objects, as well as the juxtaposition of two provocative objects in space. To design in a “transitional” manner is to be able to see contemporary possibilities in the traditional, rewriting history with fresh eyes. Transitional carpets and transitional decor blend and contrast the time honored and the contemporary, shifting the visual ingredients to balance elements of the past and present equally.

The Lapchi botanical patterns Arrowroot, Belle Leaves, Thalia and Rosemary have roots in the past. Freshly interpreted by Lapchi, they bring transitional qualities to classically inspired interiors.

Within contemporary interiors, botanical Transitional patterns provide serene and subtle organic contrast to edgy or geometric furnishings.

Lapchi Transitional Botanicals Arrowroot, Thalia, Belle Leaves and Rosemary

Lapchi Classics – Categories of Distinction

June 4, 2010

Lapchi Classic - Alpujara in Tungsten - chair from Hive Modern

To wear the laurels of a “Lapchi Classic”, a design must have an enduring legacy of taste and distinction while retaining an inspiring flexibility for thoughtful customization.

Classic patterns are the backbone of interiors of timeless refinement reflecting substance over passing fancy, and quality over faddish display.

Lapchi Classic - Victoria in Espresso

Lapchi Classics have been divided into two design categories, Classic Formal and Classic Floral. These categories are headings rather than specific pattern histories. They were created to provide a general guide to our growing collection and will stimulate interesting and evocative ideas for each and every design project.

Classic Formal patterns derive from the time-honored beauty of designs from Spain, India, Europe, Japan and China. Collectively, Classic Formal patterns have a reassuring ease of use and familiarity, while being a springboard for transitional or contemporary design schemes. Inspired by antique textiles, architecture, and ancient porcelain, these carpet patterns distill all that is balanced and refined in the old world, while offering fresh perspectives for the contemporary interior.

As a group, these inspirations span from crisp striping, to filigree tendrils, to graceful repeats of architectural geometry interlaced with stylized flowers and foliage. With Lapchi’s custom capabilities our core collection of classic patterns deliver authentic, dependable design flexibility for almost any interior application. Lapchi Classic patterns answer to form, function, and detail in the best possible style.

Lapchi Classic Formals - Sash, Kutch, Hodsdon Stripe, Renaissance

Classic Floral patterns, with all their nuanced meanings and associations, permeate our natural world with beauty and history, and our interiors with charm and luscious color. Because of the magically perennial quality of flowers in our lives, antique patterns can bloom anew in “up to the moment” interiors, as well as in romantic decor evocative of another time. The Classic Floral bouquet is composed of patterns from eighteenth century Europe’s gilded salons, Moorish Spain’s secluded fountains and the marbled domes of Shah Jahans’ Taj Mahal.  Lapchi Classic Floral patterns await your inspired arrangement.

Lapchi Classic Florals - Palampore, Broad Leaf, Floral Spray, Zarina

Lapchi’s Satori – Enlightening

June 3, 2010

Lapchi's Satori - Extraordinary in Agean Green

Adapted from an 18th c. painted silk textile, Lapchi’s Satori reflects the western world’s fascination in the 1700’s with the cultures of Japan, China, and the fabled Coromandel Coast of southeast India.

With its blossom filled tendrils capturing all manner of flowers on a single stem, Lapchi’s “Satori” is a cultural hybrid, one part European rococo to one part Eastern “tree of life”. With the addition of an elegant border from an 18th century “polonaise” over-skirt, Satori represents not just a botanical frivolity but also an enclosed garden of Asia, a “heaven on earth”. The word “Satori” is the Japanese Buddhist term for the illuminating moment of enlightened awareness, when the true nature of existence is revealed and there is no separation between self and the universe.

Interior replete with Chintz

The lure of the “East” changed the perception of the decorative arts for Europeans.  Architecture, interior decoration and textiles all became tinged with the glow of the imagined “Orient”. Soon it was chic to sip tea from porcelain cups, in rooms of curious Chinese wallpapers while clad in silks blooming with huge flowers and insects not found in one’s own garden. Charming and exuberant, the new style trumped dreary facts in favor of the frivolous and fantastical. The new “chinoiserie”, a fanciful and impressionistic pastiche of Asian esthetics, enthusiastically frosted every available surface with a riot of rococo charm.

Madame de Pompadour - National Gallery in London

India and China produced silks hand painted in glowing floral patterns similar to Satori, each yard of silk a complete work of art. Painted silks became essential for the opulent clothing and home furnishings of the royal courts and the fashion conscious beau monde.  So popular were these painted and blocked chintzes, that European industry forced restrictions and tariffs on all imports in an effort to protect local industries – to no avail.  Fashion conquered all, and patterns like Satori proved irresistible.  One of the most powerful women in Europe of the time, Madame de Pompadour, Louis the XV’s trend setting mistress, commissioned a portrait by the artist Francois-Herbert Drouais while posing in a silk gown painted “a la Satori”. The beautiful portrait of Madame de Pompadour hangs in the National Gallery in London.

Flower Power for Everyone

The western world would playfully reinterpret the indigenous patterns of precious eastern textiles for themselves, thus starting a mirror game of design and adaptation between cultures. The result is a vast library of elegant patterns, and refined taste that has endured for hundreds of years.

Lapchi’s Satori will bloom in an aesthetic state of grace while covering the floors of those who appreciate and cultivate beauty’s truest meaning.

Lapchi's Satori - Agean Green, Wheat, Range Brown - 150 knot, 35% silk

Elle Decor Spotlight-Lapchi’s Oboshi

April 14, 2010
Oboshi Site Spotlight Elle Decor-4.10

Elle Decor selects Lapchi's Oboshi

Elle Decor April 2010

Elle Decor April 2010 Issue

Lapchi’s Oboshi was selected by Elle Decor for the April 2010 issue “Site Spotlight”

We appreciate the mention Thank you!

True to tradition, Oboshi blends the superb dramatic scale of Kabuki and Noh theater design with the silent contemplations of Buddhist meditation.

Lapchi’s Oboshi was derived from a fragment of “Nui Shibori”, a 400 year old Japanese textile tradition of patterning by “resisting” colored dyes through sewing, wrapping and clamping fabric prior to immersion. The labor intensive “Oboshi” technique refers to patterns created by pulling tiny hand picked stitches of cloth around a form. Both are capped before the dye bath, revealing artful patterns of distinction when dried and unfurled.

Spun and woven completely by hand, the Tibetan wools used to produce Oboshi are dyed with subtly color variations along each strand, resulting in a complex nuanced surface. Articulated additions of silk or looped wool pile echo the delicate color variations found in shibori patterned textiles. Both scale and subtlety are juxtaposed within Oboshi, giving the carpet a voice of timeless and provocative style.

Lapchi's Oboshi in Larch

Larch DD1201

Lapchi's Oboshi in Dawn

Dawn YY520

Lapchi's Oboshi in Twilight

Twilight PP113

Oboshi shown in three program colorways of 100 knot wool and 15% to 25% silk.

In Japan art is craft, and craft is art, with no hierarchy of type or form. Thus masterpieces like Oboshi can be found in the silk of a shibori kimono, as well as common implements of life and living. The art of Oboshi Shibori however, can only bloom in a culture and tradition that values a meditative handmade process over production design. With each unique shibori textile, time is surrendered to creation, the outward expression of the artists inner journey.

Oboshi BB570 Gunmetal

Lapchi’s Oboshi performs with grace and daring in environments where the art of living reflects a discerning taste able to see beyond mere surface ornament.

Oboshi is shown in four colorways, but can be customized as an expression of your inner artist.

Lapchi carpets are GoodWeave certified. For information see and

To contact Lapchi Client Services: / 503-239-0080

%d bloggers like this: